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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 May, 2003, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
QPR hotel alarm - man charged
Celtic Manor Hotel
QPR players stayed at the Celtic Manor Hotel, near Newport
A man has been charged after a fire alarm was set off in the hotel where QPR players were staying on the morning before they played their crucial game against Cardiff City.

Neil MacNamara, a former Cardiff City security guard, has been charged with criminal damage and making a false and malicious fire call.

Two hundred people had to leave the Celtic Manor Hotel, near Newport, south-east Wales, in the early hours of the morning, while an alarm was investigated.

The Queens Park Rangers players were able to stay inside as they were sleeping in a different wing of the hotel.

The alarm went off at about 0300 BST, 12 hours before QPR's Division Two play-off final kicked off at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which they lost 1-0 in extra time.

MacNamara, 39, from Cardiff, has been bailed to appear before Newport magistrates on 5 June.

A spokesman for the hotel has said that police were called after the alarm was set off.

A spokeswoman for QPR has said that most of the team's players were woken by the alarm, and others were woken by an announcement asking people to go back to their rooms.

She said that no players were evacuated from the hotel.

Meanwhile, South Wales Police have said their plans for last weekend's divisional play-off finals were successful.

There were 24 arrests involving Sheffield United and Wolves supporters following Monday's match between the two teams at the Millennium Stadium.

The arrests were mainly for public order offences.

Among them, a 23-year-old man from Wolverhampton was arrested for drugs offences and a 20-year-old Cardiff man was arrested for releasing CS gas in the stadium.

Chief Superintendent Jeff Cooksley, divisional commander for Cardiff, said: "I am delighted with the behaviour of the fans from all six teams, which resulted in an outstanding atmosphere in Cardiff throughout the entire weekend".

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